9 Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners For Fine Hair

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A woman having her hair washed at the hair salon
Ashley Batz / Bustle

Sulfates have been taking a lot of flak from the beauty world lately, and with good reason. Using products that contain sulfates on fine or fragile hair can have damaging effects, so thinner hair textures can really benefit from sticking to the best sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners for fine hair. They're available in a range of formulas, so you can tackle anything from curls to breakage to a lack of volume — and none of these picks will weigh hair down.

When it comes to identifying sulfates on your shampoo bottle, it's important to know that they come in many forms — the most common being sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). The reason they were added to many shampoos in the first place is that they produce a rich, foamy lather and help you to get that "squeaky clean" feeling that people now associate with great hygiene. But, the problem with sulfates is that, in addition to removing dirt and excess oil, they can also strip your hair of its natural oils, anti-microbial peptides, proteins, bacterial flora, and vital moisture. This can lead to frizz, follicle stress, static, and, in some cases, extreme scalp irritation. For fine hair, this means tons of breakage and a lot of damage.

That being said, there are now quite a few awesome sulfate-free thickening shampoos and conditioners made specifically for fine hair. These nine will make your hair soft and clean without putting unnecessary stress on your scalp and follicles.


This Thickening Shampoo That Won't Break The Bank

This sulfate-free thickening shampoo and conditioner set from L'Oréal is formulated with rosemary leaf to fortify thin strands and amplify volume. The shampoo won't strip your hair, and the conditioner won't weigh it down either, which means more volume and body — and you won't have to spend a lot to get it.

Rave review: "I've used a lot of products promising thickening for my extremely fine hair. This one actually works!!! Plus, the smell is incredible. Get it."


A Caffeinated Biotin Shampoo For Thinning Hair

If your hair is thinning, reviewers say that this Biotin+ Caffeinated Shampoo works wonders. It stimulates the scalp with biotin and caffeine while strengthening and hydrating strands with argan oil and nettle extract. The ingredient list also includes other recognizable ingredients — none of which are sulfates — like coconut and hemp seed oils.

Rave review: "Love this shampoo! I can tell a difference in the texture and thickness of my hair. Pleasant smell, lathers well."


This Organic Set With Tons Of Glowing Reviews

Argan oil is an incredible moisturizer for thin hair, because it's considered a "dry oil" — which means it absorbs quickly and doesn't make your hair feel greasy, which can weigh hair down. It's also loaded with nutrients for damaged hair. The Art Naturals Moroccan argan oil shampoo and conditioner set cleanses hair gently and effectively, without stripping color or protective oils, and adds body and shine. The best part? It's made with organic ingredients, so you can feel good about putting in on your hair.

Rave review: "Really does make my hair super soft and manageable and doesn't weigh it down at all, definitely volume added as well!"


The Strengthening Set With Seaweed Extract

Aveeno is a brand known for incorporating gentle botanical ingredients into their formulas, and their Pure Renewal shampoo and conditioner does just that. It's formulated with seaweed extrac, t which helps to rebalance hair's natural moisture levels, and it's lightweight enough so that it won't weigh down thin or fine hair.

Rave review: "Really happy with this product. My hair is really dry and brittle. This stuff gave my hair life again and doesn't feel like it is weighted down. [...] My fragile hair responded really well to this product."


This Color-Safe Shampoo That Adds Volume

If you're dealing with fine and colored hair, it's worth investing a little more for a specialized shampoo that tackles both concerns. The ColorProof SuperPlump shampoo keeps your color vibrant while also injecting hair with weightless volume and shine. It even offers heat protection to help fend off styling-related damage. And if you're willing to pay a little more, you can get a great package deal that includes a color-safe volumizing conditioner and texturizing beach spray.

Rave review: "My son who is a stylist and master colorist highly recommends this for my fine thin hair. I’ve used many brands over the years and this is the best I’ve found for my hair."


A Weightless Mask That Deep Conditions Fine Hair

If you have fine hair, you know what a challenge it can be to find a deep conditioner that doesn't flatten your hair, which is why it's this weightless mask is such a welcome surprise. With the help of all-star ingredients like murumuru butter and amino acids, the five-minute mask works to naturally moisturize, smooth strands, and seal cuticles. The result? Soft, shiny hair that's 70% less prone to breakage. And of course, the kicker — it doesn't weigh fine hair down.

Rave review: "Amazing shine and doesn’t weigh my hair down! I LOVE this product. I have extremely fine hair and dye it regularly."


This Set With Essential Oils To Soothe A Flaky Scalp

Made with sage and tea tree, this Maple Holistics Shampoo Conditioner Set is free of sulfates, but loaded with nourishment that soothes itchy and flaky scalps. It's good for any type of hair, because it uses lightweight essential oils to cleanse and hydrate the scalp, and it's formulated with amino acids, keratin, and vitamin B5 to help prevent further damage to your hair.

Rave review: "This set has really helped with my itchy, irritated scalp where many other shampoos have failed. I have fine hair and this doesn't weigh it down, it makes hair soft and manageable."


The Japanese Protein Formula For Next Level Volume

Get blowout-grade volume with this shampoo and conditioner from NatureLab. The Japanese formula makes use of apple stem cells and soy and rice proteins to add major lift while also protecting hair from environmental stressors and promoting follicle strength. Plus, the formula smells like Japanese cherry blossoms, and the bubble-shaped bottles will looks so cute in your shower.

Rave review: "I absolutely love NatureLab Tokyo. Great shampoo/conditioner. Leaves hair very soft and with volume. Worth the money."


This Hydrating Set For Curly & Frizzy Hair

Another great option that uses argan oil to nourish, the LuxeOrganix shampoo and conditioner set is free of parabens, phthalates, and sodium chloride, so you know you're getting a pure formula. Even better, the formula smooths frizz and enhances natural curls, while leaving hair with hydration that won't weigh your strands down.

Rave review: "It is wonderful for my short, fine, naturally curly hair. And it smells lovely!"

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